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In the case of classic plotters, it seems the hardware would have been able to handle (something like bezier) curves with the correct software, but instead curves were drawn very slowly using a large number of very small straight lines.

One possible exception might be the CDC 6000 series vector graphics monitors, since they were able to display text at a reasonable rate, but the text may have been composed of straight lines, so I'm not sure if it supported any "curve" type commands.

Another possible exception would be the vector graphics monitors (more like an oscilloscope) driven by electrical analog computers.

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